Our fathers sinned and are no more, but we bear their punishment.
I. THE FACT OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE MORAL GOVERNOR. The history of the Jews is the history of a theocracy; but it embodied lessons which are adapted to all mankind. Nations have national privileges, national responsibilities, national probations, national rewards and punishments.
III. NATIONAL RETRIBUTION IS SOMETIMES DEFERRED FOR A SEASON. The prophets appear to have had a clear view of this law. Wrong doing in one generation was seen to be followed by punishment in a succeeding age. Jeremiah is the author of the well known proverb, "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." The seed (to change the figure) is sown by one generation; a following generation reaps the harvest.
III. THE CERTAINTY THAT PENALTIES WILE, BE INFLICTED UPON THE IMPENITENT. There is indeed a sense in which even the repenting and reformed suffer for the sins of those who have gone before them. But for the impenitent and unreformed there is no exception, no escape. We, says the prophet, speaking of himself and of his rebellious and ungodly contemporaries - "we have borne the iniquities of our fathers." The apostasy and rebellion of the former generations were visited upon those who endured the horrors of the siege and the degradation of the Captivity. There is mystery in the providential appointment that, not only shall every man bear his own burden, but that some shall bear the burden of those also who have gone before them. But the fact remains, and it gives solemnity to the life of families and of nations.
IV. THE LESSON IS THUS IMPRESSED UPON ALL MEN - HOW SERIOUS AND REAL A THING IS NATIONAL PROBATION!
1. The teaching which was profitable for Israel is equally adapted to England, and indeed to all the nations of mankind. The Lord is King, and from his government and authority none of the earth's inhabitants is free. - T.
Our fathers have sinned, and are not, and we have borne their iniquities.2 Kings 22:13; Daniel 9:16; Jeremiah 14:19, 20). When God comes to find sin successive in generations, the last shall be sure to drink deep of the cup of Divine vengeance (Nehemiah 9:34, 35, 38; Jeremiah 4:24, 25). When ancestors' sins are not our cautions (Ezekiel 18:14), it deeply aggravates the guilt of our souls (Nehemiah 13:18; Ezra 9:7; Jeremiah 16:11-13; Zechariah 1:4-6). The longer heaven's patience is abused, the greater and more dreadful is the wrath of God that is deserved (Romans 2:4, 5; Romans 1:18; Jeremiah 49:9-11). If we promote sin by indulgence, or by example in our posterities, we shall be sure to entail judgment upon our issue (1 Samuel 2:29, 34, 36). Children are many times executors, they enter upon their father's sins, and you know that in justice the executor may be sued, the debtor being dead. God may punish the sins of the parents upon the children, and yet the cause of the punishment may be in themselves (Hosea 4:12, 13). As if any being sick of the plague infect others, every one that dies, is said to die, not of others', but of his own plague. Had their parents been good, had they been pious and zealous for God, there would have been no ground, no cause for this complaint; they could not then have said, "Our fathers' iniquity is laid as a burden upon our shoulders." It is good to be good parents, parental holiness is advantageous to posterity (Psalm 102:28; Psalm 112:1, 2; Proverbs 14:26; Jeremiah 32:39).
1. Exemplary piety in the fathers makes an impression upon the children's hearts (Zechariah 10:7).
2. Heaven's benediction descends from the parents to the children (Acts 2:39).
3. Wicked fathers infelicitate their posterity (Job 5:3, 4). The Jews were very unhappy parents (Matthew 27:25). Children, plead if you can your ancestors' integrity before the Lord. The father's piety is the child's privilege (Psalm 116:16; Psalm 86:16; 1 Kings 8:23-25). Let us labour to be good ourselves, and to plant holiness in our families, that so we may have God's blessings estated upon our children (Genesis 18:19).
PeopleAssyrians, Egyptians, Jeremiah
PlacesAssyria, Egypt, Mount Zion, Zion
TopicsBear, Borne, Dead, Evil-doing, Fathers, Iniquities, Punishment, Sinned, Sinners, Weight
Outline1. A complaint of Zion in prayer unto God.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesLamentations 5:7
LibraryWhether an Angel Needs Grace in Order to Turn to God?
Objection 1: It would seem that the angel had no need of grace in order to turn to God. For, we have no need of grace for what we can accomplish naturally. But the angel naturally turns to God: because he loves God naturally, as is clear from what has been said (Q, A). Therefore an angel did not need grace in order to turn to God. Objection 2: Further, seemingly we need help only for difficult tasks. Now it was not a difficult task for the angel to turn to God; because there was no obstacle …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
Man's Inability to Keep the Moral Law
LinksLamentations 5:7 NIV
Lamentations 5:7 NLT
Lamentations 5:7 ESV
Lamentations 5:7 NASB
Lamentations 5:7 KJV
Lamentations 5:7 Bible Apps
Lamentations 5:7 Parallel
Lamentations 5:7 Biblia Paralela
Lamentations 5:7 Chinese Bible
Lamentations 5:7 French Bible
Lamentations 5:7 German Bible
Lamentations 5:7 Commentaries